Profiles of LGBT people, from the past and today – and celebrating their birthdays! All Birthdays →

Marsha P. Johnson

Marsha P. Johnson was born on August 24, 1945, in Elizabeth, New Jersey. She moved to Greenwich Village in New York City in 1966 and became part of a community of gender-nonconforming people there. She participated in the 1969 Stonewall Riots and afterwards founded the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (S.T.A.R.) with Sylvia Rivera to help unhoused trans youth; she also was active in the Gay Liberation Front and Gay Activists Alliance. She marched in the first gay pride parade, the 1970 Christopher Street Liberation Day parade. She also participated in activism during the AIDS epidemic with organizations like ACT UP and Gay Men's Health Crisis. Johnson died on July 6, 1992; her body was found in the Hudson River in New York City and deemed a suicide by the New York Police Department, but many disagreed with this classification and pressured the department to launch a criminal investigation into her death. That demand, however, has never been met. Her life and activism are detailed in Challenging Gender Boundaries: A Trans Biography Project by Students of Catherine Jacquet.